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Lawmakers pass bill on temporary housing & ‘home swap’ schemes

2018-12-12 08:00     Comment:1

The Legislative Assembly (AL) passed yesterday the outline of a government-initiated bill regulating its temporary housing and its “home swap” schemes for residents affected by the future urban renewal process.

According to the bill, temporary housing projects are for residents affected by urban renewal projects to live temporarily when their old homes have been earmarked for redevelopment, while “home swap” units are for residents affected by the urban renewal process to buy if they are unable to move back to where they were originally living.

Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi Fan introduced the outline of the bill during a plenary session in the legislature’s hemicycle yesterday.

It is understood that the government also has proposed the bill as a solution to the long-running Pearl Horizon row. More specifically, the bill proposes that Pearl Horizon pre-sale buyers are also allowed to buy “home swap” units.

Chan also said during yesterday’s plenary session that the government plans to build the first batch of temporary housing and “home swap” housing projects on the plot where the ill-fated Pearl Horizon residential project in Areia Preta district is located.

Chan also said that the proposed temporary housing and “home swap” schemes are not part of the government’s public housing programme which comprises subsidised home-ownership scheme (HOS) flats and social rental housing units.

Promoting urban renewal
The bill states that the construction of temporary housing and “home swap” housing projects is a measure to promote the city’s urban renewal – by providing residential unit owners affected by urban renewal projects with an alternative for when they rent a home or buy a new unit.

According to the bill, the proposed construction of temporary housing and “home swap” housing projects is merely a supplementary measure to the various existing and future measures to compensate residents affected by urban renewal projects and to help them relocate to a new home.

The bill proposes that temporary housing estates and “home swap” housing estates are to be built by the entity tasked with the city’s urban renewal process. The bill does not elaborate on the future entity. The government has said that it will establish a government-owned company tasked with the future urban renewal process.

The bill states that residential unit owners can apply to rent a temporary housing unit if the residential building where their existing unit is located is demolished for urban renewal – before they are to move back to where they previously lived.

The bill states that residential unit owners can apply to buy a “home swap” unit if the residential building where their existing unit is located is demolished for urban renewal and they are unable – due to urban planning – to move back to where they previously lived.




Accompanied by officials under her portfolio, Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi Fan (third from left) addresses yesterday’s plenary session in the legislature’s hemicycle. Photo: Secretariat for Administration and Justice

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